Do you want more money, more time, and less clutter and stress? Blogger Joshua Becker's The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, published this year, may be the book for you.
Winning The More of Less in a giveaway at Cheryl's blog, Homespun Devotions, came as a big surprise. I had commented on her giveaway post about minimalism without giving it much thought, so when Cheryl wrote to say I had won, I did a double-take! "Wait...I entered a giveaway?! Oh, come to think of it, I guess I did." A few days later, I received it in the mail. I was a skeptic, but decided to read it through.
The good news Becker gives is that you don't have to be like any other minimalist--you can develop your own style. And you don't have to get rid of everything and live a life of asceticism either! Minimalism, as he defines it, is the promotion of the most valuable things in your life, and the removal of distractions, aiming toward finding the level of possessions that enables you to live the best life of which you are capable.
I enjoyed the book much more than I expected. Becker shares stories from his own life and the lives of others, and relevant portions from the Bible. He exposes the manipulation of marketers, condemns consumerism and the praising of excessive and opulent lifestyles, encourages generosity, and gives practical tips on getting rid of extra stuff that may be weighing you down.
Although I've always considered myself somewhat more of a "normalist," I was delighted to find that thanks to my parents and the Bible, I already know many of the principles of minimalism. What matters most is God and people, not things...as Rachel Guerrero wrote in her book Staying on Topic is Hard (which I reviewed here). The best gift you can give is your time. Money and possessions can never bring happiness.
I already follow Becker's advice on not buying too much stuff...so...unfortunately, I personally am not going to have a bunch of surplus money after reading this book. Most of my expenses are for food, travel, and the necessities of life.
When I worked house-cleaning, I was always inspired to get rid of surplus stuff of my own when I came home. Reading this book gave me the same inspiration, with even better motivation. Getting rid of stuff I don't need and/or don't like makes room for higher quality items I do like, and, instead of sitting in my closet collecting dust, extra items can be put to good use by others.
The More of Less is thought-provoking and well written. Thanks Cheryl for a great read!